Title:
PREFABRICATED INSULATION PANEL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A prefabricated insulation panel is disclosed. To improve the insulation of existing buildings by applying materials to the exterior elevation the invention provides a prefabricated insulation panel comprising a layer of insulation material, two layers of render and a layer of reinforcing. The invention also provides a method of prefabricating an insulation panel, a method of insulating a building, and a building insulated with prefabricated insulation panels.



Inventors:
Cassells, Richard (Exeter, GB)
Application Number:
12/756350
Publication Date:
10/14/2010
Filing Date:
04/08/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/588.1, 52/741.4, 52/794.1
International Classes:
E04B1/684; E04C2/22; E04C2/24; E04C2/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CROSE LAW LLC (112 NORTHBROOKE TRACE, WOODSTOCK, GA, 30188, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A substantially rectangular prefabricated insulation panel comprising a layer of insulation material, at least a first and second layer of render, a reinforcing layer located substantially between the at least first and second layers of render, and a connection means for connecting adjacent panels in use, wherein the connection means is a tongue and groove system and the panel includes a groove on two of its sides and a tongue on two of its other sides, and wherein the panel has two substantially parallel sides of relatively large surface area and a relatively thin thickness, the layer of insulation material and the first layer of render being coterminous having the same perimeter in the plane of the relatively large surface area, the second layer of render covering an area smaller than the relatively large surface area to form rebates around its perimeter on the relatively large surface area and immediately adjacent the sides of the panel, wherein two first rebates are formed adjacent two adjacent sides of the panel and two second rebates are formed adjacent the two other adjacent sides of the panel, and wherein the second rebates are significantly narrower, in the plane of the relatively large surface area, than the first rebates, the reinforcing layer having a perimeter which is coterminous with the perimeter of the second layer of render within the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel and which extends beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area along only the two other adjacent sides of the panel.

2. The prefabricated insulation panel of claim 1, wherein the reinforcing layer extends beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel along the two sides of the panel comprising grooves.

3. The prefabricated insulation panel of claim 1, wherein the reinforcing layer is a mesh.

4. The prefabricated insulation panel of claim 1, wherein the reinforcing layer comprises fibre-glass.

5. The prefabricated insulation panel of claim 1, wherein the layer of insulation comprises one or more of polystyrene, cork, glass-fibre, phenolic foam and mineral wool.

6. The prefabricated insulation panel of claim 1, wherein the at least first and second layers of render comprise a polymer and/or a silicon and/or sand and cement.

7. The prefabricated insulation panel of any claim 1, wherein one of the two relatively large external surface areas of the panel includes channels.

8. The prefabricated insulation panel of claim 7, wherein the external surface of the panel including channels is the rear surface, in use.

9. A method of prefabricating an insulation panel, comprising the steps of providing a layer of insulation, applying a first layer of render to substantially all of one side of said insulation layer, applying a reinforcing layer to said first layer of render and applying a second layer of render to said reinforcing layer, wherein the panel has two substantially parallel sides of relatively large surface area and a relatively thin thickness, the layer of insulation material and the first layer of render being coterminous having the same perimeter in the plane of the relatively large surface area, the second layer of render covering an area smaller than the relatively large surface area to form rebates around its perimeter on the relatively large surface area and immediately adjacent the sides of the panel, wherein two first rebates are formed adjacent two adjacent sides of the panel and two second rebates are formed adjacent the two other adjacent sides of the panel, and wherein the second rebates are significantly narrower, in the plane of the relatively large surface area, than the first rebates, the reinforcing layer having a perimeter which is coterminous with the perimeter of the second layer of render within the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel and which extends beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area along only the two other adjacent sides of the panel.

10. The method of prefabricating an insulation panel of claim 9, including the step of providing connecting means along the sides of said layer of insulation.

11. The method of prefabricating an insulation panel of claim 10, wherein the connecting means is a tongue and groove system.

12. A method of insulating a building comprising the steps of fixing at least one prefabricated insulation panel, according to claim 1, and/or prefabricated according to claim 9, to the external elevation of said building.

13. The method of insulating a building according to claim 12, further comprising the steps of arranging adjacent panels such that each rebate on each panel is adjacent a portion of the reinforcing layer, which extends beyond the perimeter of the panel, of another adjacent panel; placing said portion of the reinforcing layer onto said adjacent rebate; fixing said two adjacent panels to the building through the rebate area; and applying a layer of render to said rebate such that its finished surface is substantially flush with the outer surface of the said second layer of render.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

The present non-provisional patent application claims the benefit of priority of foreign Patent Application No. GB0907274.5, which is entitled A PREFABRICATED INSULATION PANEL and which was filed Apr. 28, 2009, and foreign Patent Application No. GB0906075.7, which is entitled PRE-RENDERED INSULATION BOARD and which was filed on Apr. 8, 2009, both of which are incorporated in full by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a prefabricated insulation panel, a method of prefabricating an insulation panel, a method of insulating a building, and an insulated building.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is a need, both because of legislation and public desire, to insulate existing and/or new buildings. In existing buildings this may be achieved by adding insulation material into a cavity between the inner and outer skins making up the external walls. However, this is not always possible as not all buildings have cavity walls and/or the type of construction is not suitable to receive insulation materials.

One way to overcome this is to install insulation on the exterior walls of the buildings. This is typically effected by fixing a layer of insulation, such as expanded polystyrene, to the exterior wall and then applying a first layer of render, followed by a reinforcing layer and then a second layer of render. This method requires periods of drying in between the application of the first and second layers of render. Furthermore, other environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed etc., have to be within certain ranges otherwise the overall finished product of the various layers may not be adequate. Moreover, the application of the various layers is both time consuming and labour intensive. Accordingly, it can take many days or even weeks to insulate just one relatively small building.

It is therefore desirable to improve the insulation of buildings by reducing the time and labour required and of permitting installation in a greater variety of environmental conditions.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In various exemplary embodiments, the technology described herein provides a prefabricated insulation panel, a method of prefabricating an insulation panel, a method of insulating a building, and an insulated building.

In a first aspect, the invention provides a substantially rectangular prefabricated insulation panel comprising a layer of insulation material, at least a first and second layer of render, a reinforcing layer located substantially between the at least first and second layers of render, and connection means for connecting adjacent panels in use, wherein the connection means is a tongue and groove system and the panel includes a groove on two of its sides and a tongue on two of its other sides, and wherein the panel has two substantially parallel sides of relatively large surface area and a relatively thin thickness, the layer of insulation material and the first layer of render being coterminous having the same perimeter in the plane of the relatively large surface area, the second layer of render covering an area smaller than the relatively large surface area to form rebates around its perimeter on the relatively large surface area and immediately adjacent the sides of the panel, wherein two first rebates are formed adjacent two adjacent sides of the panel and two second rebates are formed adjacent the two other adjacent sides of the panel, and wherein the second rebates are significantly narrower, in the plane of the relatively large surface area, than the first rebates, the reinforcing layer having a perimeter which is coterminous with the perimeter of the second layer of render within the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel and which extends beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area along only the two other adjacent sides of the panel.

The panel may be prefabricated in an environment, such as a factory, where temperature, humidity and so on may be regulated. This permits a uniform and better product to be prefabricated.

The use of prefabricated panels also reduces the time required on site as one or more panels may simply be affixed to the exterior of the building and the joints filled in. Accordingly, the amount of render applied in-situ is substantially reduced.

Although the reinforcing layer is described as being located between the first and second layers of render, when it is applied to the first layer it may not lie on the surface but may become slightly submerged within the first layer.

With regard to the second rebates, their width may be approximately 5 mm.

With regard to the tongues and grooves it is to be understood that this term includes the possibility of the groove not actually being a groove in the traditional sense of a slot. Rather, it may include the possibility of two tabs which may overlie one another in use. The tongue and groove system allows for better interlocking of adjacent panels and helps prevent cracking of any final finish coat of paint and/or render.

The reinforcing layer may extend beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel along the two sides of the panel comprising grooves. Alternatively it may extend beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel along the two sides of the panel comprising tongues. Alternatively it may extend beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel along one side of the panel comprising a tongue and one side comprising a groove.

The reinforcing layer may be a mesh, such as multi-stranded glass fibre (for example Ispotherm™). The mesh may be alkaline-resistant. The size of the apertures in the mesh may be in the range 2 mm to 15 mm, although other dimensions are contemplated. Other reinforcing materials are also contemplated.

The size of the panel (in the plane of the relatively large surface area) may be 900 mm by 1100 mm. Alternatively, the panel may be 1200 mm by 1100 mm. Other sizes are contemplated.

The thickness of the layer of insulation may be substantially 40 mm, 60 mm, 80 mm or 100 mm, although other thicknesses are contemplated.

The thickness of each layer of render may be substantially 3.5 mm. The thickness of the reinforcing layer may be substantially 1 mm. Accordingly, the overall thickness of the prefabricated insulation panel may substantially be in the range 48 mm to 108 mm, although other overall thicknesses are contemplated.

The layer of insulation may comprise one or more of polystyrene, cork, glass-fibre, phenolic foam and mineral wool. Other materials are contemplated.

The at least one layer of render may comprise a polymer and/or a silicon and/or sand and cement.

One external surface of the panel may include channels. For instance, the layer of insulation may comprise channels such that when the panel is fixed to a surface a flow of air and/or moisture may be permitted between the insulation and the surface. The channels may have a chevron pattern. The external surface of the panel including the channels be the rear surface, in use. In this regard, the term “rear” is taken to mean the surface of the panel which is immediately adjacent the wall of the building to which it is, or will be, attached.

More than two layers of render and more than one layer of reinforcing may be provided. Moreover, layers of other materials may be incorporated within the panel.

In a second aspect, the invention provides a method of prefabricating an insulation panel, comprising the steps of providing a layer of insulation, applying a first layer of render to substantially all of one side of said insulation layer, applying a reinforcing layer to said first layer of render and applying a second layer of render to said reinforcing layer, wherein the panel has two substantially parallel sides of relatively large surface area and a relatively thin thickness, the layer of insulation material and the first layer of render being coterminous having the same perimeter in the plane of the relatively large surface area, the second layer of render covering an area smaller than the relatively large surface area to form rebates around its perimeter on the relatively large surface area and immediately adjacent the sides of the panel, wherein two first rebates are formed adjacent two adjacent sides of the panel and two second rebates are formed adjacent the two other adjacent sides of the panel, and wherein the second rebates are significantly narrower, in the plane of the relatively large surface area, than the first rebates, the reinforcing layer having a perimeter which is coterminous with the perimeter of the second layer of render within the perimeter of the relatively large surface area of the panel and which extends beyond the perimeter of the relatively large surface area along only the two other adjacent sides of the panel. One or more of the various layers may be applied together or separately.

The method may include the step of providing connecting means along at least one side of said layer of insulation. This step may occur at any point in time during the prefabrication. These connecting means may be a tongue and groove system.

In a third aspect, the invention provides a method of insulating a building comprising the steps of fixing at least one prefabricated insulation panel, according to the first aspect and as described and/or claimed herein, and/or prefabricated according to the second aspect and as described and/or claimed herein, to the external elevation of said building.

The method may further comprise the steps of arranging adjacent panels such that each rebate on each panel is adjacent a portion of the reinforcing layer, which extends beyond the perimeter of the panel, of another adjacent panel; placing said portion of the reinforcing layer onto said adjacent rebate; fixing said two adjacent panels to the building through the rebate area; and applying a layer of render to said rebate such that its finished surface is substantially flush with the outer surface of the said second layer of render.

The panels may allow for no area to have more than one layer of mesh.

In a fourth aspect, the invention provides a building insulated with prefabricated insulation panels according to the first aspect, and as described and/or claimed herein, and/or prefabricated according to the second aspect, and as described and/or claimed herein, wherein said panels are fixed to the external elevation of said building.

In one embodiment, the invention is concerned with the retro-fitting of insulating materials to existing buildings. These buildings may be defined as “park homes”, “mobile homes” or “prefabricated homes”.

The above and other characteristics, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention. This description is given for the sake of example only, without limiting the scope of the invention. The reference figures quoted below refer to the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The technology described herein is illustrated with reference to the various drawings, in which like reference numbers denote like device components and/or method steps, respectively, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an insulation panel according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the panel of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the panel of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of a collection of panels; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a building with installed panels.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention will be described with respect to particular embodiments and with reference to certain drawings but the invention is not limited thereto but only by the claims. The drawings described are only schematic and are non-limiting. In the drawings, the size of some of the elements may be exaggerated and not drawn to scale for illustrative purposes. The dimensions and the relative dimensions do not correspond to actual reductions to practice of the invention.

Furthermore, the terms first, second, third and the like in the description and in the claims, are used for distinguishing between similar elements and not necessarily for describing a sequence, either temporally, spatially, in ranking or in any other manner. It is to be understood that the terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances and that the embodiments of the invention described herein are capable of operation in other sequences than described or illustrated herein.

Moreover, the terms top, bottom, over, under and the like in the description and the claims are used for descriptive purposes and not necessarily for describing relative positions. It is to be understood that the terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances and that the embodiments of the invention described herein are capable of operation in other orientations than described or illustrated herein.

It is to be noticed that the term “comprising”, used in the claims, should not be interpreted as being restricted to the means listed thereafter; it does not exclude other elements or steps. It is thus to be interpreted as specifying the presence of the stated features, integers, steps or components as referred to, but does not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps or components, or groups thereof. Thus, the scope of the expression “a device comprising means A and B” should not be limited to devices consisting only of components A and B. It means that with respect to the present invention, the only relevant components of the device are A and B.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment, but may refer to different embodiments. Furthermore, the particular features, structures or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from this disclosure, in one or more embodiments.

Similarly it should be appreciated that in the description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, various features of the invention are sometimes grouped together in a single embodiment, figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure and aiding in the understanding of one or more of the various inventive aspects. This method of disclosure, however, is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed invention requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the claims following the detailed description are hereby expressly incorporated into this detailed description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment of this invention.

Furthermore, while some embodiments described herein include some but not other features included in other embodiments, combinations of features of different embodiments are meant to be within the scope of the invention, and form different embodiments, as would be understood by those skilled in the art. For example, in the following claims, any of the claimed embodiments can be used in any combination.

In the description provided herein, numerous specific details are set forth. However, it is understood that embodiments of the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure an understanding of this description.

The invention will now be described by a detailed description of several embodiments of the invention. It is clear that other embodiments of the invention can be configured according to the knowledge of persons skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit or technical teaching of the invention, the invention being limited only by the terms of the appended claims.

In FIG. 1 an insulation panel 10 is depicted. It comprises a base insulation layer 20 in the form of a rectangular slab bounded by the corners A, B, C, D. Along the top and left hand sides of the insulation layer 20 are provided tongues 30 which project in the same plane as defined by the corners A, B, C, D. These tongues 30 do not extend along the same width and height of the top and side of the panel 10. Rather, they are slightly shorter such that a gap 32 is provided at the top right hand corner and bottom left hand corner of the panel. This allows for adjacent panels to positively abut against one another when installed and to allow for a certain amount of play between adjacent panels 10, if necessary, due to an uneven surface on which the panels may be installed.

A groove 36 is provided on the bottom side and on the right hand side of the panel 10. This groove has a depth indicated by the broken line 34. The groove 36 is for receiving a tongue 30 of an adjacent panel 10.

In one embodiment (not shown), the panels 10 do not have gaps 32 but rather the tongues extend along the full length of the top and side of the panel 10. In another embodiment (not shown), the panels 10 do not include tongues 30 and/or grooves 36.

A first layer of render 40 is provided on the front (or outward) surface of the insulation layer 20. It has the same area as the layer of insulation such that it is bounded by the corners A, B, C, D. A layer of reinforcing mesh 50 is provided on the front (or outward) of the first layer of render 40. This mesh is bounded by the corners H, E, F, G. The sides H to E and G to H of the mesh are coterminous with the lengths H to I and K to H of the second layer of render 60 described below. The size allows for an overlap along the right hand 54 and bottom 52 sides of the panel 10. These overlaps are discussed in more detail below.

A second layer of render 60 is provided on the front (or outwardly) of the mesh 50. It is bounded by the corners H, I, J, K. This rectangle is smaller than the insulation layer 20 and the mesh layer 50 such that rebates 62, 64, 56, 58 are formed between the boundary H, I, J, K and A, B, C, D. Rebates 62, 64, 56, 58 are provided at the top, left hand side, bottom and right hand side respectively. The rebates referenced 62 and 64 are substantially wider than the rebates referenced 56 and 58. These rebates 62, 64, 56, 58 are discussed further below. In one embodiment (not shown), no rebates 56, 58 are provided along the bottom and to the right of the second layer of render 60 such that the area of the second layer of render 60 is larger than shown and extends to the edge of the panel along the right hand side and bottom.

FIG. 2 is an elevational side view of the panel 10 as viewed along the arrows 70 in FIG. 1. The panel 10 has a tongue 30 at the top and running down the side in view. A groove 36 is present running along the bottom side. The insulation panel 20, which comprises the tongue 30 and groove 36 is substantially rectangular in view along its side.

A first layer of render 40 is provided on the right hand surface. It covers the entire right hand surface of the panel 20. A layer of mesh 50 is provided over this first layer of render 40. It does not cover the entire surface of the first layer of render 40 as it does not extend to the top of the panel 10. However, a portion 52 of mesh hangs down from the bottom side of the panel 20. This portion 52 is an overlap as is explained in more detail below.

A second layer of render 60 is provided over the layer of mesh 50. However, it has a smaller area than the layer of mesh 50 and first layer of render 40 such that rebates 62 and 56 are provided. The top edge of the second layer of render 60 is coterminous with the top edge of the mesh layer 50.

A perspective view of the panel 10 is shown in FIG. 3. All of the features shown have already been described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 and are the same. FIG. 3 shows how the layer of mesh 50 is not present over the entire surface of the first layer of render 40 and how it extends beyond the perimeter of the panel 10.

In use, another panel 10 of the same appearance and construction may be placed below the one shown in FIG. 3 such that the tongue 30 of the lower panel 10 fits into the groove 36 of the upper panel 10. With two adjacent panels 10 having this arrangement the overlap 52 of mesh 50 of the upper panel will lie over (or outwardly) of the rebate 62 of the lower panel. In a similar manner with another panel 10 having the same appearance and construction as the one shown in FIG. 3 lying adjacent but on the right hand side, the overlap of mesh 54 will overlie the rebate 64 of the adjacent panel. Fixings may be applied through these rebates 62, 64 areas to affix the panels to a building or other structure. With panels 10 arranged in this manner a finishing layer of jointing render may be applied in the region of the rebates 62, 64 such that the surface thickness is brought up flush with the outer surface of the second layer of render 60 which has been provided during the prefabrication of the panels 10.

The narrower rebates 56, 58 may also be filled with jointing render to bring their surface flush with the outer surface of the second layer of render 60. The application of render to these rebates 56, 58, 62, 64 covers the joints between adjacent panels and helps to reduce or eliminate cracking of the second layer of render 60 and/or the jointing render due to the presence of the joints of the panels 10 beneath.

FIG. 4 shows an arrangement 100 of five panels 101, 102, 103, 104 105 placed adjacent one another in a brick-bond style. Panel 101 has a layer of insulation 20 and first layer of render 40 bounded by the corners A, B, C, D. The mesh 50 for this panel 101 is bounded by the corners A, E, F, G. In this figure the panels are indicated by solid line and the overlapping areas of mesh are indicated in broken lines. The overlap of mesh to the right of the panel 101 covers the rebate provided on the left of panel 102 such that the area of overlap is bounded by corners B, E, N, C.

In a similar manner, the overlap of mesh to the right of the panel 102 covers the rebate provided to the left of panel 103 such that the area of overlap is bounded by corners L, P, Q, M. A finishing application of jointing render is applied to these areas B, E, N, C and L, P, Q, M to increase the thickness of the overall render in these areas such the overall finished surface is level with the outer surface of the second layer of render 60 applied during the fabrication process. A similar overlap of mesh 54 is formed in area 116 provided in the rebate 64 of panel 105.

In a similar manner, the overlap 52 depending from the lower side of panel 101 covers the rebate 62 provided at the upper end of the outer surface of panel 104. Also, the overlap 52 depending from the lower side of panel 102 covers the rebate 62 provided at the upper ends of the outer surface of panels 104 and 105.

However the area referenced “110” only has one layer of mesh 50; the one depending from panel 102. This allows the jointing render to provide a strong layer as multiple layers of mesh can prevent sufficient render being applied in these rebate areas leading to cracking and failure of the render in this area.

Jointing render is selectively applied to the joints between the adjacent panels 101, 102, 103, 104, 105 such that the overall finished surface is level with the outer surface of the second layer of render 60 applied during the fabrication process.

FIG. 4 also depicts fixings 120 which are used to affix the panels 101, 102, 103, 104, 105 to the sub-structure (such as a wall of a building). The arrangement (spacing, depth, size, length etc.) of these fixings 120 may be selectively chosen and varied to meet the relevant regulations and site requirements. However, it is expected that stainless steel bolts may be used.

As the fixings may compress the layer of insulation 20 it is typical to install them in the rebate areas such that an application of jointing render to these areas masks any compression, eliminates damage to the second layer of render 60 and provides a surface flush with the overall finish.

An example of a building 200 having panels 210-213 fitted to its external elevation is shown in FIG. 5. The building 200 includes a door 230 and two windows 240, 242. The panels have been cut to appropriate size as required to fit the building 200. The thickness 260 the panels 201-213 may be seen around the door 230 and windows 240, 242.

Although not shown, the panels 201-213 may be installed using a rail system (for example onto battens pre-fixed onto the exterior elevation). However, it is envisaged that the panels 201-213 may also be fixed without the need for such a system, instead being affixed directly onto the exterior elevation of the building 200. If channels are provided in the rear surface of the panels 201-213 then a free flow of air and/or moisture may occur between the panels 201-213 and the exterior elevation of the building 200.

Although this technology has been illustrated and described herein with reference to preferred embodiments and specific examples thereof, it will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that other embodiments and examples can perform similar functions and/or achieve like results. All such equivalent embodiments and examples are within the spirit and scope of the invention and are intended to be covered by the following claims.